In this Issue:
  • The Armored Wanderer – the armadillo
  • It is March and Snakes are on the Move
  • Two Manatees in Two Weeks
  • Aliens are invading – NISAW 2018
  • Florida Master Naturalist Program
  • Plant Them High and Water Well
  • Exploring the Gulf of Mexico: Phytoplankton Part 2
  • St. Marks River Preserve State Park
  • A Ghost in the Woods
  • Exploring the Gulf of Mexico: Phytoplankton Part I
  • Natural Resources

    The Armored Wanderer – the armadillo

    The first light of morning can reveal random pockmarks in what had been the perfect lawn the previous evening. The culprit is not likely the neighborhood teenager with a reputation for inappropriate practical jokes. The offender usually is the nine-banded armadillo, sometimes referred to as a Florida-speed-bump or Possum-on-the-half-shell. In addition to manicured landscapes, they …

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    It is March and Snakes are on the Move

    Most people know that snakes are ectothermic and the environment is what regulates their body temperature. However, many do not know that they like to maintain their temperature close to 98 F like us.  To do this they must move to locations where they can either warm (like basking in the sun or lying on …

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    Two Manatees in Two Weeks

    As a young boy growing up here in the panhandle, I had heard of this thing called a manatee – but had never seen one. They came more into the light when I was a teenager and becoming interested in marine biology.  I was the president of the high school marine biology club and one …

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    Aliens are invading – NISAW 2018

    Aliens are invading our forests, pastures, fields and lawns. Well, okay, it’s not aliens but it is invasive species.  Invasive species are non-native or exotic species that do not naturally occur in an area, cause economic or environmental harm, or negatively impact human health.  These invasive species have become the number one threat to biodiversity …

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    Florida Master Naturalist Program

    The Florida Master Naturalist Program is an adult education University of Florida/IFAS Extension program. Training will benefit persons interested in learning more about Florida’s environment or wishing to increase their knowledge for use in education programs as volunteers, employees, ecotourism guides, and others. Through classroom, field trip, and practical experience, each module provides instruction on the …

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    Plant Them High and Water Well

    We plant trees with the intention of them being there long after we are gone. However, many trees and shrubs fail before ever reaching maturity.  Often this is due to improper installation and establishment.  Research has shown that there are techniques to improve survivability.  Before digging the hole: Look up. If there is a wire, security …

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    Exploring the Gulf of Mexico: Phytoplankton Part 2

    In the last article, we discussed what phytoplankton are, what their needs were, and their importance to marine life throughout the Gulf and coastal estuaries. In this article, we will discuss the different types of phytoplankton found in our waters. Marine scientists interested in the diversity and abundance of phytoplankton will typically sample using a …

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    St. Marks River Preserve State Park

    Located along the banks of the St. Marks River’s headwaters, this park offers an extensive system of trails for hiking, horseback riding, and off-road bicycling.  The existing road network in the park takes visitors through upland pine forests, hardwood thickets and natural plant communities along the northern banks of the river. The St. Marks River …

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    A Ghost in the Woods

    Imagine you are enjoying perfect fall weather on a hike with your family, when suddenly you come upon a ghost. Translucent white, small and creeping out of the ground behind a tree, you stop and look closer to figure out what it is you’ve just seen. In such an environment, the “ghost” you might come …

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    Exploring the Gulf of Mexico: Phytoplankton Part I

    Last year I began a series of articles on the Gulf of Mexico. They focused on the physical Gulf – water, currents, and the ocean floor.  This year the articles will focus on the life within the Gulf, and there is a lot of it. We will begin with the base of food web systems, …

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